UK Railway news (w/e 19/07/2020)

Some articles relating to the UK railway indusrty in the past week. Some articles may requite a subscription.

London Waterloo is playing host to a new passenger information screen. The high definition colour screen aims to provide concise arrival and departure information in an easy to read format. Another one is hoping to be trialled at London Victoria station, in September 2020. For such a high definition screen, its a shame that Network Rail provided such a low resolution picture in this article!! Read more here : London Waterloo trials new high-definition colour screen to provide better passenger information

The new depot at Marshgate, Doncaster was opened this week. In a brand new building, called “the mallard” it will oversee many operations over the East Coast Mainline. More can be read here : Network Rail opens £14m depot in Doncaster

A smart card type of system is being rolled out or Northern services. Initially on the Leeds and Harrogate branch, the scheme will enable passengers to buy a book of 10 tickets for unlimited daily travel, priced at the cost of 9 anytime day returns. More ticketing options are being considered for the area, including using cashless payments for journeys similar to the model used by Tfl. More on this here : Flexible ticket trial as Transport for the North plans contactless roll-out

Thats all this week, more selected news next week. Thank you for reading.

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UK Railway News (w/e 12/07/2020)

Some news from the UK railway industry this week, some articles may frequire a free subscription.

An agreement has finally Been signed to allow direct trains from London to Amsterdam. In the past, coming back from Amsterdam meant catching a local Thalys service to Brussels, dis-embarking through border checks and then joining the Eurostar. These checks will now be done at Amsterdam, enabling passengers to bard the Eurostar directly. However the new services will not come into effect until later in 2020. Read more here : Agreements signed to allow direct Amsterdam – London trains

Blackpool’s trams will begin operating again on July 19th 2020. Due to Covid-19, the services had been suspended since 29th March 2020. The services will be every 20 minutes with social distancing measures in place. More can be read here : Blackpool trams to resume as UK light rail operators reflect government guidance

Snowdon mountain railway has taken delivery of two hybrid locomotives. The engines are highly efficient, with regenerated braking being used to charge the batteries on the downhill run. The railway is also expected to open on July 10th 2020, with the relevant social distancing measures in place. More here : Two hybrid locomotives unveiled as Snowdon Mountain Railway reopens

Not much else of note this week. As always, many thanks for reading and i’ll blog again next week.

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UK Railway News (w/e 28/06/2020)

Selected railway news from around the UK this past week. Some links may require a free subscription.

The most exiting news came from the north of England this week, as a new rail charter company has been established. Dedicated to the Settle and Carlisle line, services will begin this summer, and help to boost the industry whilst we tentatively come out of the Covid-19 crisis. Support from Northern Trains, Network Rail and also local support, the new company, ‘Rail Charter Services LTD’ will work with the Settle Carlisle Railway Development Company. It will utilise top and tail class 47’s, and cater for the general market, although enthusiasts are of course welcome. The main difference between this and a enthusiast journey however is that it is to be planned as a daily service , rather than a one off. The rolling stock will be ex-Greater Anglia MK 3 coaches, and as such reflect the general nature of the journeys (enthusiast experiences tend to err on the 1st class or luxury coaching stock). Much more detail on this exciting news, including sample pricing can be read both here : Daily tourist trains to serve England’s ‘most scenic’ railway and here : Class 47 locomotives to operate timetabled Skipton to Appleby trains this summer

A new station serving the Cambridge Biomedical Campus came a step closer this week with Network Rail choosing a preferred location alongside the facility. More on this can be read here : Cambridge South station preferred location selected

Facial biometrics are to be trialled at Eurostar’s St Pancras International station. This hopefully will eliminate the need for contact with people or equipment during the check in process. Using a smartphone app, the passenger would take a selfie and then the app would verify against the booking documents. Sophisticated software checks the validity of the photo as a real person, as apposed to just photo of a photo or video. It is hoped the system will go live in early 2021. Read more here : Eurostar to test facial biometrics for ‘walk-through’ check-in

That’s it for this week, many thanks for reading and more news next Sunday.

If you enjoyed this, try searching for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Rail Siding.

UK Railway News (w/e 21/06/2020)

A look at some news in the UK railway industry this past week. Some links may require a free subscription.

East coast trains have their class 803 trains now in production at Hitachi Rail in Newton Aycliffe. The trains will be eventually used on the open access route from London to Edinburgh. These are 5 car AT300 trainsets, and only contain standard class accommodation. Read more here : East Coast Trains class 803 production begins.

In other rolling stock news, South Western Trains have had their first delivery of their Class 701’s to Eastleigh for testing. The full order will be for 60 10 -car and 30 5-car EMU sets, and will run on commuter routes in and out of London Waterloo. More on this here : South Western Railway’s first Class 701 delivered.

A depot is to be rebuilt for the new Tyne and Wear metro trains. The swiss company ‘VolkerFitzpatrick’ will undertake the work to look after the rolling stock they are providing for the local metro system. These are due into service in 2023, but the depot is not schedules to be fully operational until 2025. Read more here : Tyne & Wear Metro depot rebuilding contract awarded.

Finally, Transport for London announced that a phased restart of its improvement and construction projects had started. These include the Bank capacity upgrade and the Northern line Extension. Work will initially be done using split shifts, with social distancing, dedicated walking routes and more staff welfare areas to name but a few. More about this can be read here: TfL’s construction projects to commence phased restart

Thats it for this week. Thanks for reading and more news next Sunday

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UK Railway News (w/e/ 14/06/20)

A round up of UK railway news this week. Some links may require a free subscription.

As a reminder, face coverings are required when travelling on all forms of public transport in England from Monday 15th June. Fines can be issued for anyone not wearing a covering, and also you will be prevented from boarding if you do not have one on. further clarification can be found here : Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport

The new Kidderminster station opened on 7th June, unfortunately with no ceremony due to Covid-19. The glass fronted structure is twice the size of the original, and contains many features which make it a more roomy and pleasant environment for passengers. Read more here : New-look Kidderminster Station opens to West Midlands Railway passengers

A major bottle neck in south London could be eased if plans get through another round of public consultation. The Selhurst triangle which is north Croydon is heavily used, and can cause substantial delays, much like the tangled web of lines that used to go into London Bridge. Proposals include dive-unders and flyovers to relieve this congestion. More of the proposals can be read here : Consultation underway on revised Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme plan

Not much else of note this week. Many thanks for reading this blog, more news next Sunday.

If you enjoyed this, please search for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Rail Siding, thank you.

UK Railway News (w/e 07/06/2020)

Some news from around the UK press this past week. Some links may require a free subscription to the page.

First up, if you haven’t seen it, is another ‘repaint’ of a UK class 66 in recognition of UK keyworkers. This time DB have got in on the act:

HS2 again was in the press this week, with a plan to create extensive links to the Toton HS2 hub. This would include not only road, but tram, bus and regional rail links. With over 20 villages and towns within access of the HS2 station, good links will be needed in order to facilitate demand for access. The full article can be read here : £2·7bn plan for transport links to Toton HS2 hub

The company ‘Zipabout’ has begun implementing its research technology with Network Rail to inform passengers if a train they are likely to catch will be busy. Historic usage data along with more recent data will be used to best inform customers about services likely to be busy. This will be done in form of either a red or yellow warning against that service, advising accordingly. More information about this can be read here : National Rail to offer ‘busy station’ alerts

Four brand new railway stations in Wales could become reality if plans submitted to the UK Government get approval. Carno, St Clears, Ely Mill and Deeside Parkway have all been proposed. This would be in addition to the two stations at Bow Street, Aberystwyth and Cardiff Parkway which are already at an advanced stage. Full story can be read here : Four new railway stations for Wales proposed to be built by 2024

Finally, as you may have read I have become a member of the East Kent Railway, and this weekend was a great milestone in recovery. They have opened their woodland walks and café to visitors from Saturday 6th June. I wish them well with this and a possible full re-opening in the near future (albeit with social distancing measures) and hope to get down there myself very soon. Full details on this exciting development can be read here :

Many thanks for reading, and if you enjoyed, please search for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Rail Siding.

Railway News (w/e 24/05/2020)

Some news that has been noted from the UK railway industry this week (railway gazette articles will require a free subscription):

The BBC reported that the Cairngorm funicular railway had at last gained funding for its repair. The railway has been out of action since September 2018, and repairs are suggested to cost in the region of £10 million. Read more here : Cairngorm funicular repairs approved by park authority

A rail passenger group in Wales has urged a re-think on the number of toilets to be provided on the new trains expected for the region in 2022. Railfuture Wales says the new class 197 two carriage trains would benefit from an extra toilet, as up to 116 seated people can be carried, but obviously more standing. Read more here : ‘Inadequate’ toilet provision on new TfW trains

Six new stations are due to be served if an old Northumberland freight line gets opened up for passenger traffic. The former Blyth & Tyne network, which branches out from the East Coast Mainline, would support new housing developments, and help move passengers from road to rail. Read More Here : Northumberland Line reopening plan advances

The Old Oak Common HS2 station was approved this week. Hailed as ‘the largest new railway station ever built in the UK’, it will enable passengers not only access to HS2, but also the Elizabeth line, Great Western Railway and the Heathrow Express. It is located on the former railway works at the site. Read more here : Old Oak Common HS2 station approved

That’s all for now, thanks for reading, more news next Sunday.

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Rail Press News (April/May 2020)

Some stories from the rail press in the past month:

(all links may require signing up to rail gazette – which is free and provides newsletters when appropriate direct to your inbox)

The Manchester Metrolink and Mersey rail are facing a financial situation due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said that services could be cut unless the UK government supplied some means of support. The same was said by the Liverpool City counterpart Steve Rotherham. Full story can be read here : Manchester Metrolink faces financial crisis and Merseyrail struggling to survive, mayors warn

The UK’s Network Rail has converted some signalling testing workshops which were out of use for training signallers to keep trains moving in the Wales and West region during the Coronavirus pandemic. The entire refurb took only four weeks, a huge achievement. Full story can be read here : Signaller training centre to keep trains moving through the pandemic

Various trains have had new ‘skins’ to celebrate the hard work of the UK’s NHS during the current crisis. In this article, Thameslink operator Govia shows how it transformed three of its 700 series EMU’s to say thank you to Keyline health workers. Full story can be read here : Trains branded in tribute to the NHS

The Curzon Street HS2 station was approved by Birmingham City Council in April. The station aims to be carbon Neutral with an extensive solar panels on platform canopies and a rainwater recycling system. Full story can be read here : ‘Confident and contemporary’ Curzon Street HS2 station approved

LNER has put online drivers eye view of many of its routes. Other routes are due to be added in the next few weeks, including London to Leeds. The Videos can be viewed here : LNER cab rides

That’s all for now, but I hope to expand on this news service a little more by putting up a key bulletin every Sunday from now on.

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Rail Press News (March/April)….

What has been in the press about UK Railways in the last month (16 March 2020 to 16 April 2020) :

Railway Business UK reported on the 7th April that improved performance figures have occurred since the Lockdown in the UK; not much of a surprise really!! But the real point of the article is that this is due to the reduced services and amounts to an experiment which would not ordinarily been able to happen. You can read the full article here : Railway Business UK performance article

Meanwhile, a ‘Metro Report’ article highlighted the fact the Manchester Metrolink to Old Trafford Park opened on the 22nd march 2020. This is an important extension to the Metrolink and attaches the Metro to the rest of the network at Poroma. More information can be had within the full article: Metro Report Trafford Park Article.

Rail Business UK reports on the testing of the new class 720 fleet for Greater Anglia. It reports the first train completed its first test into London Liverpool Street in early April. The full report can be viewed here : Rail Business UK report on Class 720

Also in Rail Business UK, on 15th April the UK Government asked the promoter of HS2 to give its main contractors a ‘Notice to proceed’. This allows contractors to plan to get the right workers in the right place ready for the construction of the new line, and is a welcome step in this current uncertain economic climate. You can read the full article here : Rail Business UK report on HS2.

In other UK news from ‘Rail Business UK’, mini reports on HS2 growth stratagies, Scotrails decision to withdraw on board catering facilities, and an RAIB report on a near miss at Kirtlebridge, Dumfries and Galloway, can all be viewed via this link : Rail Business UK roundup

Many thanks, I hope these are of interest.

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Covid-19 – changes and support your local heritage railway

Well, all my best laid plans are in tatters, as least for now!! But on a serious note we should all as rail enthusiasts be observing the nations ‘lockdown’ and not going out enjoying our hobby. It will pass, and we will soon be able to once again photograph and video to our hearts content.

In the meantime, two things. Firstly, I am working on my London Transport Museum video. I shot this in November last year, but wasn’t happy with it and was going to re shoot. This however is now not possible at the mo, and so I will do an edit with the best footage I got. The reason for wanting a reshoot? Well basically I have a new camera, which enables me to get cleaner, less jerky footage. But I will put this together for now and hopefully later in the year update it with new video.

Secondly, and more importantly, as railway enthusiasts we all like the modern, but many value the past as well. Many of us visit our heritage railways during the year and sort of take them for granted. But this situation we find ourselves in couldn’t happen at a worst time of year for these attractions. Many would have been working towards a profitable Easter and summer period, but now just lie dormant, with only a handful of volunteers able to tend to and maintain both stock and building infrastructure.

This is where we can still help. If you are able, why not donate a small amount to your local or favourite (or both) heritage railway. It doesn’t need to be much, but if we can all pull together, we can help save rolling stock and these attractions for others to enjoy in the years to come. I myself have applied to become a member of the East Kent Railway Trust, where unique rolling stock is situated. It may only be a small line, but it’s importance in keeping the memeories of the Kent coalfields alive is invaluable. I am sure there are many more heritage railways around the country with similar ties to long gone industry which now more than ever need our help.

So please if you can, give a little to help keep these running. Lets hope that by at least mid summer we can get out and about again, and hopefully get back to video and photography.

Many thanks for reading.

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